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    Royal MM34

    Douglas Jr.

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    Hello everybody!

    Here I am with something very unique, recently added to my collection: an automatic pistol Royal MM34. And I must add that I'm happy as a kid with this one. OK, the gun is not in mint condition and saw better days, but as far as I could research up to now it is a very rare bird, and a nice addition to any collection. And it is in LIVE condition (and still kicking!)

    These guns were made by a Spanish company called Beistegui Hermanos, who started to made unauthorized copies of the Mauser C96 around 1927, mostly aiming the Chinese market. Astra ("Unceta Co.") followed them with the model 900 series. In 1931 Beistegui introduced a version of its pistol with a select-fire switch, allowing to use the gun as a submachine gun.

    However, polical issues arise and most of the production of automatic pistols was halted by the Spanish Republican Government in 1931. Only a small production was allowed to suply foreign customers (Chinese war lords, mostly) but, in 1934 the Guardia Civil requested a select-fire gun with a slower rate of fire, so the next two Astras - the experimental Model 904, and the big order for the Guardia, the Model F - had such a mechanism. These were all made in 1934 and 1935.

    Beistegui introduced the MM34 about at the same time, with a similar retarding mechanism but adding a switch to select various cyclic rates. Another interesting feature was the disctinctive barrel. This gun had dettachable magazines, using the same mags as the German Mauser Schnellfeuer.

    By 1935, the political situation in Spain had continued to deteriorate, though not yet to the point of open warfare, and the financial squeeze on manufacturers continued. The Beistegui brothers, clearly suffering since 1931, finally abandoned the gun business altogether, after making only a few hundred specimens of their new MM34. The brothers appeared again after the end of the Civil War, but this time making bicycles.

    According to some old-timer gun collectors in my country, these guns made its way to here, after be purchased by the Rio Grande do Sul's State Law Enforcement, but as the political situation was instable at that State, Federal Government confiscated many of the guns and issued them to other States Police Departments (mainly in the arid Northeast States), where they served for many years. This particular gun was abandoned (lying inside a metal box) in a obselet gun depot of one of these northern States, when it was bought in an auction. The holster stock was found and bought in another auction in another State, almost 1000 miles away from where the gun was. This gunbears the date letter code "F", which date it as made in 1933...

    Well, this is everyhting that I could find about this gun (source: http://www.1896mauser.com/spanish.htm). If you know anything else, please, feel free to add. Any information on this pistol is welcome.

    Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.



    PS: Sorry about the poor pictures, I promise to make more (and better)pictures soon.

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